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Don’t Put Flower Pots On Your Windowsill


Recently a highly intelligent couple approached me at a party, pissed off at the problems that had ensued when all they wanted to do was bring a little green into their lives.  “What did you do?” I asked.  “Nothing, we just attached a shelf to our windowsill, bored through the window frame with a  high power drill to hold it in place, and put a few flower pots on it. That’s all. The lady downstairs loves it, but instead of saying thanks, the board made us take it down, and charged us a thousand dollars. THAT’S RIDICULOUS, isn’t it?”

You’re not gonna like what I have to say.

You own your apartment. But you don’t own the exterior walls of the building (at least not individually) because that’s common space, and if it’s not yours, you can’t mess with it, even if you think you’re improving it. You can’t even attach a satellite dish on the window sill, and those are protected by federal law.

iStock_000000665944XSmallWorse than that, the flower pot could fall and hurt someone or even kill him, and you could be subject to criminal charges, and even if you weren’t incarcerated, you’d have to deal with your conscience for the rest of your life. Worse still, .if someone were hurt, the building could be exposed to liability, which would only up the ante and make everyone hate you.

 “Shall I go on?” I looked warily at the serrated knife poised in his hand.  I asked a few more questions and found out that when they removed the shelf it had left gaping holes in the base of the window frame, and they were asked to replace it, and given names of people who could do the job. But they ignored all this so instead the board went ahead and had it replaced and charged them a thousand dollars.

“We’re gonna sue,” they said.

 For what? They’re right and you’re wrong.  If you sue, you’ll lose. Then on top of having to pay the thousand dollars, you could wind up shelling out their legal fees, which mount up quicker than a pile of dirty laundry.  And if you think I’m making this up, go ask the people in that building where a little tiff over a window guard turned into a seventy thousand dollar sinkhole

Face it, you live in High Rise Society, not home on the range.  You’re not really free to do what you want no matter how many millions you paid to be master of your domain. And most of you know it, but you do it anyway — as a form of urban protest, or because you figure you won’t get caught or just because you think you’re above it all.  Give it up. Because when your neighbors find out you’re breaking the rules so will they, and soon a flower pot, or something a lot bigger, could fall on your head, and before long you will all be living in the wild west – pleading for a return to enforced civility.

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2 Responses to “Don’t Put Flower Pots On Your Windowsill”

  1. Common Sense says:

    It’s not worth going to jail or putting your fellow shareholders at risk for a flower pot. The board is right on this one

  2. citychick says:

    Ouch! That looked painful! I guess I’d better go remove all of my flower pots from my windowsill….do you have any safer esthetic suggestions for window decorations?

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